Over the past two weeks, three street artist kings have been busy fancying-up the West Hollywood Library in L.A. The site isn’t set to open until October, but it looks like the outdoor decorative work is nearly completed. Last week, we showed you Retna‘s completed mural and Shepard Fairey‘s work-in-progress. Since then, Kenny Scharf has started and completed his work, and Fairey is done as well.
Together, the works cover a range of themes. Retna’s piece, painted on one side of the parking garage built for the library, is a myriad of symbols. Once decoded, they spell out a Salman Rushdie quote about the importance of literacy.
Shepard Fairey’s work, shown above, features some heavy stenciling. The mural took about a week to complete, which is ages is street art terms. “We finished Saturday after six days working between 12 and 16 hours. It is 70 feet by 106 feet. It is the largest mural I’ve ever done wheat-pasted or painted,” Fairey wrote on his website. “It was quite an undertaking and I have to thank my assistants Nic Bowers, Dan Flores, Jason Filipow, Kyle Oldoerp, and the several interns who worked very hard on the project.” The mural’s design seems to have very exotic influences, and the depictions themselves convey a strong message. Fairey fittingly dubbed the work his “West Hollywood Peace Elephant,” and the dove is also a known symbol of peace and harmony.
Last but not least, we have Kenny Scharf‘s well-known and easily-recognized characters, on the third side of the parking structure. Compared to the other two pieces, Scharf’s mural is a bit more laid back, but it still manages to convey quite a bit of emotion in the many, colorful faces. The stark contrast also brings a fun-loving element to the entire project.
The three murals were brought together by MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch, who suggested the project after touring the library when it was under construction. The three artists were all featured in the MOCA “Art in the Streets” exhibition, and they must have been thrilled to be featured here because they funded everything themselves. The city of West Hollywood will pay for anti-UV and anti-graffiti coating, but as Fairey said online, “Calm down taxpayers… I was not paid to do the mural and paid for my own supplies and labor.” Furthermore, West Hollywood officials approved all artwork before anything was painted.
What’s next? Well, for Fairey, it’ll be the inside of the library. The artist has already been commissioned to do some indoor work with David Wiseman.
As for the murals, they’ll be on display for at least a year, through July 2012.
Photos Via L.A. Times.
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